The Tampa Bay Lightning came out strong Wednesday night with 47 shots against Arizona goalie Connor Ingram. However, Ingram had the last laugh by posting a shutout and securing a shootout win against the Bolts, 1-0. The night featured a rare feat in the NHL: a double shutout posted by both goalies.
Ingram stopped all 47 shots the Lightning powered his way on his way to his first career shutout. The 2016 6th Round draft pick of the Lightning, Ingram made a huge statement in the crease as he seemingly beat the Bolts singlehandedly. Arizona did not register much offensive production for a good portion of the night, yet Ingram stopped the Lightning throughout.
Comparatively, veteran goalie Brian Elliott had an impressive night himself for Tampa Bay. Elliot stopped 26 shots for the 44th shutout of his career.
Undeniably, the Lightning had plenty of opportunities to walk away with a victory. In the first period alone, the Bolts registered 20 shots against Ingram.
Significantly, several shots off the post hindered Tampa Bay’s chance for a win. Nikita Kucherov had one final shot in overtime hit the post as time expired, capping off a frustrating night for the team.
“The loss will sting,” Bolts Coach Jon Cooper quipped afterwards. “In the end you played two games, and you like the way your team plays.”
“We had a lot of chances. We had tons of chances. Am I upset with this team? Not in the slightest!”
A bright spot for the Lightning is picking up five points out of six in this crucial road stretch.
However, the Lightning showed the strains of a long road trip late in the game. As the team tired, Elliott picked up his game to hold the Coyotes scoreless.
“We got tired,” Cooper said. “In the third period you could tell. And you saw what happened.”
Ingram shines for Arizona
Undoubtedly, Connor Ingram may have had incentive to outshine the Bolts in Tempe. A former 6th Round pick for Tampa Bay, Ingram never made enough of an impact with the Lightning before moving on to Nashville and then Arizona.
Afterward, Cooper was complimentary of Ingram.
“You beat the team, but you have to beat the goalie,” Cooper went on to say about Ingram. “And the goalie had a hell of a game tonight. Good for him!”
“I’m sure it was a little bit of motivation for him, formerly being with us. I know Connor is a great kid!”
Additionally, the shutout win came on the most shots Ingram has ever faced in his NHL career.
Elliot Refuses to Be Outdone
While Ingram dominated the net against the Lightning, Brian Elliott matched the effort in the Tampa Bay crease.
Accordingly, the Bolts’ backup netminder stepped up late when the team faltered offensively in the third, stopping 13 shots in the period. His play secured a much-needed point on this challenging road trip.
“The goalies put on a clinic tonight,” Cooper said. “It comes down to a skills competition at the end and they won it. That was it.”
“Elliott gets forgotten about, but he made some big saves himself.”
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Despite the loss, the performance was the best of the season for Elliott. He posted two one-goal games this season as the backup, most recently against Chicago in January.
Three Stars of the Game
Connor Ingram, Arizona. 47 shots against. 47 saves. First career shutout.
Brian Elliott, Tampa Bay. 26 shots against. 26 saves. 44th career shutout.
Nick Schmaltz, Arizona. Not only did Ingram shine for the Coyotes, but also Schmaltz. The star forward played a solid game for Arizona and pushed the Coyotes to the brink of victory late in regulation. Especially important were some key moves to stop potential Lightning rushes. Indeed, his opening shootout goal sparked Arizona to victory to secure the second point of the game.
As the road trip wraps up, the Bolts head to Las Vegas to take on the Jack Eichel and the Golden Knights Saturday night. Puck drop is at 10:30pm ET.
Follow our coverage of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey all season long on The Scrum Sports.
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